Blackdown Camp

Blackdown Camp, Farnboro’. This was the last move the battalion made as a whole. Two years passed here, I being attached to the Overseas Coy as an A.C.S.M. helping to harden off the men as they returned from hospital or convalescent camp, and getting them fit for draft again. While we were here in 1917 the King came to open a new railway, connecting the camp with Brookwood. One day in the summer of this year our bomb store blew up, several lives being lost.

Blackdown camp

Training, sports, competition marches, impromptu concerts etc. filled up the number of our days here, while occasional leave and visits to the Garrison Theatre helped to break the monotony. Inspections and Flying Column scares were a frequent diversion. In 1918 one of these proved a reality and, early one wintry morning we found ourselves, in full war paint, on the way to Newport, South Wales, to overawe the strikers there. A concert organised by me just to prove the Overseas men could do as well as the rest of the battalion proved a great success.

Finally a commission was offered me in the regiment, (having been marked A1 earlier in the year) but, owing to the Armistice, celebrated here in the usual British fashion, all papers were returned from the W.O., and on January 9th 1919 I proceeded to the Crystal Palace via Aldershot to be demobbed.

January 10th 1919. Demobilised.

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